Is It Smart to Talk About Political Issues In the Office?
When it comes to discussing political issues, people who once got along beautifully may feel like mortal enemies. People can’t always agree to disagree on matters of politics, and the conversations that result from these differences can be extremely heated.
That makes politics a poor conversation topic for the workplace. However, it’s something that inevitably comes up. How can you discuss these issues at work without causing major problems, and how can you make sure that you continue to get along with your co-workers?
Before you bring politics up at work, take these tips into consideration. They’ll help you to discuss issues without causing any big arguments.
Don’t use propaganda
A lot of people like to display political propaganda, whether that’s in the form of a car bumper sticker or a poster. However, these things can irritate people and build up a deep-seated resentment. Keep the propaganda out of the office, and people will be more likely to take your options seriously.
Don’t email people with your opinions
People don’t like to receive unsolicited advice via email, and that’s even more the case with politics. When you email your co-workers about your political views, they may feel as if you’re forcing your opinions upon them. Wait to bring up politics until they come up naturally.
In addition, sending political opinions through work email may actually be against company policy. It’s best to avoid anything that will lead to you getting reprimanded.
Be careful on social media
A lot of people are friends with their co-workers on social media, but they may still forget that their co-workers can see everything that they post. If you post comments insulting people who hold a specific political view, you shouldn’t expect people to have a reasonable conversation with you the next day.
If you want the freedom to post whatever you want on your social media accounts, you may want to adjust your privacy settings. On some social media sites, including Facebook, you can set a filter that controls who sees what. You can make sure that your co-workers only see the content that you want them to see.
Avoid being confrontational
As a rule of thumb, it’s best never to be the one who instigates political conversations in your office. Instead, you should wait to talk about issues until you’re asked about them. If people are upset about your views, you can gently remind them that they were the one who asked for your opinion, not the other way around. People will also be more receptive to what you have to say when they’re actually asking for your thoughts.
There are some people who enjoy using political issues to cause conflict. Some of these people play devil’s advocate, always arguing the opinion that’s in the minority. Avoid having conversations about politics with these people. They only want to cause strife, and you’ll never be able to have a reasonable political discussion with them.